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IRTS Radio News Bulletin Sunday July 4th 2004

EI4CY Silent Key

The many friends of Ernie Berkenheier EI4CY will be sorry to learn of his death earlier this week. He had been ill but was in very good form at the AGM in Limerick earlier in the year where he renewed old friendships. He had been living in Denmark but had returned to EI.

In his working life, Ernie was a member of the communications wing of the Air Corps working for many years at Casement Aerodrome. Ernie was very active on the radio up to a few years ago. He was a regular attender at Bagott Street and was among the group that formed the City of Dublin Radio Club which ceased activities some years ago. Ernie, with John EI8DE and Dermot EI9BT for many years came up on 3660 kHz each Sunday after the 12 O'clock news to provide an on air QSL service which lasted until John EI8DE's death.

To Ernie's wife, family and friends we extend our deepest sympathy. May he rest in peace. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

Any CW operators out there?

South Dublin Radio Club members are combining with some of the GEARS club members from County Antrim to operate in the IOTA contest at the end of July. They plan to operate from Inisheer, one of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway and are looking for CW operators to join the team for the contest. Anyone who might be interested in this is asked to contact Kyle O'Connell by phone to 087-4169845, or by email to

One of the antennas which the group plans to use during the IOTA contest is a Bobtail, which has been tested extensively by SDR members in recent weeks. The antenna appears to have excellent gain over a range of angles of elevation, especially on the 40 metre band.

AREN Exercise

A number of experimenters from the Dublin area provided emergency communications cover for the Ring of Imaal walk, which took place on 19th of June last. Almost 100 walkers took part. Fortunately the weather was excellent and there were no mishaps. A few walkers dropped out during the walk, and these were tracked by the AREN operators until they arrived safely back at the walk headquarters.

EI0HQ, IRTS Headquarters Station

The annual IARU HF Championships will take place over 24 hours on July 10th and 11th. EI0HQ will be operated as the IRTS Headquarters station and plans are to have a station on every band on both CW and SSB.

First IRLP node in EI

The first IRLP node in EI came on air on Monday the 21st of June last. It was set up by the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and operates on a trial basis from the QTH of John EI8JA in Waterford city. The node is linked to the Waterford 70cm repeater (EI7MLR) on Mount Leinster, Co. Carlow. Like all IRLP nodes it has a unique four-digit code which is used to access it using DTMF tones. The node number is 5883.

The group would request that any station wishing to use the node identify themselves before sending tones to connect to another node, i.e., please give your callsign, then dial the node to which you wish to connect. Do NOT randomly connect and disconnect nodes.

Visit the IRLP website at for more information about the system.


On the 1st and 2nd of May last, Tipperary Amateur Radio Group activated the EI25LY callsign for the EURadio event. Participating were John EI7IG, Paul EI3ENB, Eddie EI3FFB, John EI2JB, Eric EI/SP3SUX and Brendan SWL.

Unfortunately the group were unable to secure a site in Kilkenny city for the event due to insurance and bureaucracy issues. That said EI7TRG members activated the event callsign and had an extremely enjoyable time.

Special thanks to Paul EI3ENB who not only provided an exceptional site for the stations but also provided food and beverages courtesy of his good XYL Catherine.

Equipment used were Icom 756PRO-2, Icom 756PRO, FT 1000MP, FT920 and a Kenwood TS2000 running into a selection of Carolina Windoms and G5RVs. The group also ran tests with a number of vertical antennae. Propagation was good and a lot of contacts were made with LY and other European stations using both CW and phone. The event gave TRG members the opportunity to air all the big rigs and antennae and many lessons were learned making the entire event a very valuable experience.

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

The Waterford 2 meter repeater EI2WRC on 145.650 MHz which was located on Mount Leinster for many years and taken off site last year due to intermod problems is now back on air from the Ridge of Capard in Co. Laois. Neil EI3JE, John EI8JA, Nicky EI3JB, Noel EI2JC and Eoin EI7FXB were involved in the installation on Saturday the 19th of June last. Reception reports can be sent to

A committee meeting of the group will take place this coming Wednesday the 7th of July next.

Space News

A Russian Dnepr LV rocket carrying the AMSAT-OSCAR Echo Amateur Radio satellite and several other payloads launched was launched on the 29th of June from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite is not yet commissioned for general use.

A telemetry decoding program, TLMEcho, is available for those who would like to view and report data from the Echo satellite. It may be downloaded from the "Echo Satellite User Software and Documentation page." AMSAT-NA requests that anyone recording Echo telemetry to send the CSV files to Mike Kingery, KE4AZN. A telemetry database has been established and will be tested over the next few days.

The call signs for Echo's Pacsat Broadcast Protocol Digital system are PACB-11 for Broadcast and PACB-12 for the BBS.

Echo's sun-synchronous orbit is 800 km above Earth. Among its other capabilities equipped with a transmitter capable of up to 7 W output, will allow voice communication using handheld FM transceivers. FM voice and various digital modes including PSK31 on a 10-meter SSB uplink will also be available.

Items for inclusion in next weeks Radio News for next week should be forwarded to Mark EI7IS. News should be submitted via e-mail to for automatic forwarding to both the radio and printed news services.


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